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Planning a Winter Picnic 
by J. Steinhoff June 24, 2005

Picnics, barbecues, and tailgating parties are indisputable rites of summer, but have you ever considered taking a winter picnic? Enjoy a breathtaking winter sunset, or even a snowball fight, as you sample some of your favorite wintertime treats. Here’s how:

1. Check the weather forecast.

Would you prefer a mild, sunny day or snowflakes amidst your appetizers? Check the weather report to make sure you’re not venturing into a blizzard, sleet storm, or deep freeze. Or, if the weather’s particularly frightful, consider picnicking at a hotel or beside a roaring fireplace.

2. Pick a scenic location.

The pool and patio don’t have the same charm in January as they do in July. Instead, if weather permits, choose a placid lake view, a quaint city park, or a pine-filled valley. Consider pairing your picnic with other wintry outdoor activities: skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, or snowman building.

3. Heat up some comfort food.

Picnic for two? Pack an insulated lunchbox with comfort foods such as chili, warm cornbread, baked yams or potatoes, and hot sandwiches. Fill a thermos with hot cocoa or mulled apple cider. Group picnic? Consider bringing a roasted turkey breast or a crock pot of clam chowder. The more hot foods you pack, the warmer your whole picnic will be when you’re ready to eat.

4. Find a basket, sled, or toboggan.

Load your entire feast into a picnic basket or, if you’re going on an outdoor trek, a sled. Don’t forget cups, plates, utensils, and napkins! If you’re headed to a remote area, be sure to pack a trash bag as well.

5. Bundle up.

Even on a beautiful day, bring along a scarf, mittens, and hat. Be sure to wear a warm, wind-breaking coat and consider wearing long underwear if you live in the North. Southerners, dress in layers and pack an umbrella. Nothing ruins a good time quicker than a cold.

6. Hit the road!

Whether you’re hiking, biking, or driving, plan your route, and bring a map if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Most important, take time to savor your meal, scenery, and time together.


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